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4k vs UHD TV

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Updated April 12, 2022

When browsing for the best TVs, it can often feel like you’ve slipped and fallen into a tub of alphabet soup. And it’s because of this painful reality that we have chosen to tackle one of the largest areas of confusion in the TV acronym arena: 4k vs UHD TV. And if this piques your interest, you can also read our article comparing a 4k Ultra HD TV to a 1080p TV.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • 4k, UHD, and 4k UHD are display resolution terms often used interchangeably but have certain differences in pixel count.
  • 4k is a resolution based on a cinema industry standard with a pixel density of 4096×2160.
  • UHD (Ultra High Definition Television) — or 4k UHD — is based on a consumer device standard and has a pixel density of 3840×2160.

Comparing a 4k TV vs an Ultra HD TV

Some people claim there’s no difference between 4k and UHD resolutions. If you ever cross paths with such a claimant, know that they speak a lie, a truth, and something in between. But to arrive at the truth, you have to understand the difference in resolution and whether you are dealing with consumer or cinematic standards.

Insider Tip

If you are in the market for smaller screen size and are tight on cash, look into 1080p options. The difference in visual quality between 1080p resolutions and UHD isn’t noticeable on smaller screens.

Resolution is the number of individual pixels that make up the screen’s entire picture. It’s calculated by taking the number of horizontal pixels and multiplying it by the number of vertical pixels. For a deeper dive into the future of TV resolutions, you can check out our article that compares an 8k vs a 4k TV.

A proper 4k cinema-standard display is 4096×2160. However, the consumer label “4k UHD” is the same as UHD or 3840×2160.

So, the difference between 4k and UHD TV is slight, and many still claim that there is no difference at all. Next, we’ll analyze if the handful of extra pixels matter, how important is screen resolution, and which one is right for you.

Calculating the Resolution Gap

Altogether, people say there is no noticeable difference in color quality or the overall viewing experience between the two types of HD resolution. Especially for the average viewer, the extra pixels don’t provide an enormous boost to picture quality.

Consumer Availability

It’s disappointing to find that it is tough to get your hands on a true 4k resolution TV. These displays are typically marketed for professional use, and it’s tricky to find them for sale at the average retail store.

Warning

Although 4k TVs quadruple the pixel count, many studies confirm people can’t distinguish between a UHD display and a standard HD display at an average viewing distance.

F.A.Q.S

What is HD TV?

HD TV is the precursor to Ultra High Definition. However, its pixel count is four times less (1920×1080) than a UHD (3840×2160).


What kind of cables will I need for 4K?

For a 4k display, look for a high-speed HDMI, as this will best handle this type of signal.


What are the next steps in 4k technology?

Now that 4k is the central resolution used in consumer TV technology, manufacturers have their eyes set on making 8k more affordable. Many developments occur in panel technology, such as OLED and QLED.



STAT: Prices for consumer 4k technology fell dramatically in the mid-2010s, leading to its dominance in the market. (source)